WhatsApp voice calling is new to the world of VoIP as services such as Skype and Hangouts have been around for a long time now. But considering the sheer popularity of the IM app around the globe, a lot of people are going to give the new feature a try mainly because it’s convenient and free, but is it really?
Everything you do on the internet consumes data, including browsing websites and also when your email and other apps synchronize. The same applies to VoIP calling and a lot of people think that the utilization isn’t too much, but that’s not the case when you’re on a cellular network.
Using WhatsApp voice calling over a Wi-Fi network at home, a café or at work means that you will not face huge charges. But over a 2G, 3G or 4G connection, you could burn through your entire internet pack in a matter of days and data plans don’t come cheap.
According to findings from AndroidPit, a call made via WhatsApp over an LTE network can consume as much as 1.3MB in a minute. This number will vary depending on different conditions and the average amount is said to be around 960kb per minute. So, on a 500MB data plan you’ll be able to make a non-stop 8.5 hour (approximate) call.
Divide that into a month and the result is a mere 16 minutes of calling each day – Doesn’t look so cheap now, does it? Using the traditional means of calling sure does look to be more cost-effective, but this isn’t the case if you make a lot of calls to other countries as ISD rates are a bomb on cellular.
The bottom line is that WhatsApp voice calling isn’t really a cheaper alternative to traditional calling, unless of course, you’re constantly on a Wi-Fi network. Also, the amount of data will vary depending on network. The audio codec used also makes a difference – So other VoIP apps will give you different results.